It's time to let slip an idea that I've been thinking about and working on sporadically since mid-2014. It sprung out of a conversation with my mastermind group, all of whom are podcasters themselves. The chat involved the eternal topic of podcast promotion.
How do you get your show out to more people? How do you reach a wider audience? And particularly, how do you do so when the audience you want to reach probably doesn't even know podcasting exists?
Well, I think the answer may lie in something you've seen many times before: the humble podcasting network.
Partnerships: Still Working a Treat
First of all, the UK Business Broadcasting network will aim to recruit great quality shows which have an established audience. Each show will have it's own niche within business development, such as marketing, employment, advertising or development. A cross-over of topics is absolutely fine, of course. There's always more than one side an argument, and hosts will give their own unique take.
Each show within the UKBB will commit to promote the others whenever appropriate. This doesn't mean constant advertising, or even mentioning them that often. But when a topic comes up which is covered in detail by someone else on the network, they'll give a recommendation. It may be that 30 second promo ads or similar could be used too, but that's something to experiment with. Obviously not to everyone's tastes, so it'll be suck-it-and-see.
Every show will be listed on the UKBB home space, and promote the network as a whole. This means that fans of a show will be encouraged to check out the network and will most likely find other shows that look interesting to them.
All of this activity, working throughout, say, 5 to 10 shows, will create a whole lot of show migration and trust in the network. That, in turn, will build a UKBB community which will be a huge benefit to the shows within, and should offer a lot of value to the listener.
Reaching the Unreached
Ok, so what about those non-podcast listeners.? They're not going to find us through other shows – they don't listen to any! This is the thing I've been thinking about most lately, and it's not a new issue; it's been around since the dawn of business.
You have a product which solves a big problem for a particular group of people. But, it's a new product, and so people aren't searching for it. In fact, if they found it by accident, they'll need a lot of education to recognise it's value to them.
Strength in Breadth
Now, one show only has a certain amount of power to draw a listener into the world of podcasting. It can be done, sure, but the draw is limited to the particular niche that that show covers.
For example, take Podcraft, my own show. One of it's aims is to help businesses to grow through the power of podcasting. Now, that does have the ability to draw new people into listening to the show, but only if they're seriously considering that particular topic at that particular time.
Instead, consider a business owner who discovers the existence of a UK business podcasting network. They have a brief look and discover a large range of shows, covering everything a business owner needs to know about establishing, maintaining and growing their enterprise.
I think that evidence of value, and the easy access to a large range of curated content will be a much bigger driver for our target audience to get involved in podcast consumption.
The final thing I think it'll help us with is in reaching the mainstream media.
I'm becoming more aware of the fact that to get Podcasting in front of the general public, we need to get in with the old school media. It's no longer good enough to draw people to us, appearing everywhere that we can online – we need to get out to them, and that means newspapers, radio, magazines and more.
Again, a single show may well be capable of this, but gathering together the clout of 5 to 10 broadcasters into one network, and collating hundreds of valuable episodes as a result, is going to be so much more powerful.
That clout will get us through the doors of the mainstream media, and get the notice of those who have a say in what gets published. I'd love to get the network mentioned on the radio, for example. If we have a range of shows, with a range of businesses behind them, all grouped together in one network, that's going to give us the authority to do so.
Imagine if one of our hosts could appear on a national station, talk about the network and give a quick tutorial on why podcasts are so great, and why you should listen. We can work with the media to grow our own, and offer value to them as we do so.
I'm already talking with some of my favourite shows, and we're making plans as I type.
If you run your own show, and think you'd have something to contribute to the network, then please do get in touch. I'd love to speak to you. Tweet me at @thepodcasthost or email through on the contact page.
I wont release dates yet – all efforts right now are going into releasing the first course from The Podcast Host. But once that's live, the network comes next.
And if you're a listener, looking for a one-stop place for all of your business podcasting goodness, then stay tuned. We'll be live before you know it. Here's to promoting the medium of podcasting, and drawing ever more people into our wonderful world!
Image Credit: pagedooley on Flickr